Program goal

The counselor education and supervision concentration is designed to prepare experienced, research-oriented master’s-level counselors for academic positions focused on research, service, teaching and counselor education. Doctoral students will integrate theory, research and practice in areas of counselor supervision and training, counselor education and teaching, advanced counseling, diversity and multiculturalism, leadership, advocacy, and social justice.

Student learning outcomes

  1. Develop research knowledge and skills (research component): Students will acquire the prerequisite skills essential to designing, conducting and interpreting qualitative and quantitative design research. Students will demonstrate this knowledge and skill set on a qualifying examination, which is independently evaluated by at least two faculty members. To address inter-rater reliability, if the two faculty members disagree on the student’s level of knowledge, a third faculty member is called in to evaluate the student’s responses on the qualifying examination. 
  2. Develop in-depth knowledge in one area of study (concentration component): Students will demonstrate in-depth knowledge and skills in an area of study that is congruent with their current or projected career goals. Content will differ according to chosen concentration.
  3. Apply skills in external setting (externship component): Students will demonstrate their knowledge and skills in a professional placement in a school, agency or corporate setting. The faculty adviser and the externship site supervisor work together to evaluate the student.
  4. Complete an original research study (dissertation component): Students will design, implement, analyze and defend an original research study. Once a student passes the prospectus hearing, he or she will collect and analyze the data and finish writing the last two chapters of their dissertation. Students have a committee of a minimum of four faculty members. Typically this consists of a chair, a methodologist, a subject-matter expert and an expert outside of the School of Education. Each committee member independently reviews the student’s work. Once the dissertation defense has occurred, the committee discusses their thoughts on the quality of the student work. Once all members agree, the student is granted a Ph.D.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Apply online at graduate.admissions.vcu.edu.

Admission requirements

Degree: Semester(s) of entry: Deadline dates: Test requirements:
Ph.D. Fall Nov 15 (early consideration) GRE
Jan 1 (final deadline)

Special requirements

  • Students wishing full consideration for graduate assistantships should apply by the early consideration deadline.

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, the following requirements represent the minimum acceptable standards for admission:

  1. Master’s degree from a CACREP-accredited program or related discipline
  2. Three letters of recommendation addressing the student’s potential for graduate study in education
  3. Student’s written statement concerning career interests
  4. Transcripts of all previous college work
  5. A personal interview and writing sample (may be requested)
  6. Professional vitae/resume
  7. Satisfactory scores on the GRE

Degree requirements

In addition to the VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, students are required to complete course work in core and elective courses.

  1. Credit hour requirements: Students are required to complete a minimum of 48-54 credit hours depending on concentration.
  2. Grade requirements: Receipt of a grade of C or below in three courses constitutes automatic dismissal from the program. Courses with a grade below C cannot be used to satisfy degree requirements.
  3. Externship requirement: Students must complete an approved externship.
  4. Examination requirements: Students must pass both a qualifying examination early in the program and a comprehensive examination near the end of the program.
  5. Dissertation requirements: Students must complete and defend a research dissertation.

Curriculum requirements

Foundation
EDUS 702Foundations of Educational Research and Doctoral Scholarship I3
EDUS 703Foundations of Educational Research and Doctoral Scholarship II3
Research
EDUS 608Educational Statistics3
EDUS 710Quantitative Research Design3
EDUS 711Qualitative Methods and Analysis3
Research elective3
Externship
EDUC 700Externship3
Dissertation
EDUC 899Dissertation Research (minimum of six credit hours)6
EDUS 890Dissertation Seminar3
Concentration courses
CLED 720Counselor Education Doctoral Seminar I3
CLED 721Counselor Education Doctoral Seminar II3
CLED 730Advanced Counseling Theories and Practicum3
CLED 740Supervision in Counseling3
CLED 750Advanced Group Counseling3
CLED 760Advanced Career Counseling and Development3
CLED 810Counselor Education Doctoral Internship4
Total Hours52

Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 52

Graduate program coordinator
Donna Gibson, Ph.D.
Associate professor, Department of Counselor Education
Email: dgibson7@vcu.edu
Phone: (804) 828-1332

Additional contact
Colleen Thoma, Ph.D.
Professor and chair, Department of Special Education and Disability Policy
Email: cathoma@vcu.edu
Phone: (804) 827-2653

Program website: soe.vcu.edu